Time to make some Jell-O…

For at least 15 years now, my niece has prepared the same salad for our family
Christmas.  It’s her signature dish and it has become a tradition.
So has the conversation we have about it.
First, let me show you a picture of the salad she brings – a 12-layer Jell-O salad.
It‘s gorgeous, isn’t it?
Yep! That’s what we say every year followed by comments like “it’s too pretty
to eat” and “I almost don’t want to take any because it’s so beautiful”.
Inevitably someone makes the comment, “That must be SO DIFFICULT to make.  I don’t know how you do it.”
And my niece has always replied in the same way…
“Actually,” she says, “it’s quite simple.  All you have to do is wait for the Jell-O to set before you add the next layer.”  
That’s it – plain and simple.  
“All you have to do is wait for the Jell-O to set before you add the next layer.”  
And as participants in my Growing in Abundance workshop last Saturday began to realize, the same is true when it comes to our own growth and our ability to achieve our goals.
We need to take it layer by layer, giving ourselves, our new behaviors and beliefs and our new results time to “set” before we can increase them, up-size them or add another layer.

Yet our impatience and “not enough” thinking won’t let us.  As soon as we achieve one goal, we go for more.   We want things to happen fast.  And we put pressure on ourselves as a result.  We get caught up in the “All or Nothing”, “Fast or Nothing”, “Feast or Famine” scarcity pattern.   We pour all six colors of Jell-O into our bowl one right after the other – and wonder why things don’t turn out the way we expect.  Even if we do achieve our goals, the WAY we achieved them is not sustainable.  So we don’t stay there – let alone go beyond them.

So what might this Jell-O salad approach to growth and abundance look like in your life?
Let’s say you want to lose 30 pounds this year.  You set a goal to lose five pounds in January and you achieve it. (YAY!)   If you’re like most people, you’ll then set a goal to lose another five pounds in February.  If you do, you haven’t let your first success “set”.  
Instead of trying to lose even more weight in February, what if your goal was simply to maintain your new weight (five pounds lighter)?  If you lost some more weight in the process, great.  But what’s important is that you can maintain your new place –that your new habits become solid.  And that might take a couple of months.
Same thing if you‘re an entrepreneur and have an income goal.  If your goal in January is $2000 or more in revenues and you achieve it, don’t immediately increase it to $2500 in February. First, see if you can achieve $2000 or more for a few months (3-6)Then, knowing the habits and beliefs that created $2000 or more are solid, you can “add another layer” and go for more.
Sure – this approach will probably take longer than the All or Nothing, fullcourt-press approach so many of us take.  But the results we achieve will last.  And we’ll be able to enjoy our life in the process.
Because you know what my niece does between layers?  She enjoys her life.  She puts a layer of Jell-O liquid in the bowl in the fridge and then goes about her life.   She plays with her kids.  She relaxes with her husband.  She fixes dinner.  She watches a movie.  She goes for a walk.  
In other words, she experiences BALANCE in her life – AND she’s making our family’s favorite Christmas salad.  And you could experience the same in your life… if you’re willing to take things layer-by-layer, allowing each layer to “set”.
And isn’t that ultimately what abundance is about?  Growth, well-being, fullness of life?
So now it’s your turn…
  • How can you apply this Jell-O salad approach to your life and your goals for this year?
  • What do you need to let “set” before you can add to or expand upon it?
  • Are there actions you need to develop consistency with?
  • Are there results you can achieve (and then sustain) layer by layer?
  • How does your impatience and “not enough” thinking sabotage you from experiencing growth WITH balance in your life?
  • Any AHAs, questions or comments? 
As always, I’d love to hear your response if you care to share.
  • Mary

    This is a fabulous idea to use as the New Year begins. I have about 15 boxes of stuff and each and every day, My plan is to work on them so in time I will have cleared up most of my stuff that one accumulates over 40-5o years.

    You always awesome on good ideas to help your reader.


    • Thanks for your comments Mary! Before you make any more progress on those boxes, I suggest you take a picture so you have a concrete image of where you were when you began. Then take updated pictures each week or each month so that you can see and track your progress… layer by layer. And remember to celebrate your actions and progress along the way!